we've got like a younger population we've got people in the ages of 18 on up to 24, 25. >> reporter: smith says his clients face a wide range of challenges, from long-term unemployment, to a lack of skills necessary for jobs, to simpler things, like limited access to daycare. his job is to help them work through it all, as they pull themselves out of poverty and find jobs. >> the turnaround time seems extremely long, i mean quite honestly. >> reporter: the longer unemployment sits over 8%, the longer it will take the poverty rate to come down. and some analysts think the way we measure poverty doesn't capture the true extent of the problem. >> although standards of living have improved in the united states, over the last half century, we still have this same relatively low benchmark for who's poor. so to be poor in this decade, is something much worse than it was to be poor in say, 1960. >> reporter: some people say extended unemployment benefits also kept the poverty level from rising last year.